New Shop Emerges
Three years after Domicile, a home furnishings store, closed its doors, its first
employee has partnered with two other
designers to open Porto, a shop offering
high-end furniture and interior design
expertise. Porto partner Michael Perry
readied the former Play it Again Sports
store at Eastgate Shopping Center for an
early June opening of the business, which
aims to be environmentally and socially
responsible. He and Emily Barrett, also a
former Domicile designer, and Clark
Hipolito launched the original Porto store
in Raleigh after Domicile closed and have
been selling custom-designed, solid hardwood furniture.
The company is a member of the Sustainable Furniture Council, acquiring
inventory from suppliers that grow their
own mahogany, for instance, and pay
employees living wages. Porto offers customers a free in-house design consultation
and concentrates on the upscale furnishings market, which has been less susceptible
to economic downturns. Perry plans to offer
pieces at a range of price points and says
he’s promising something for everybody.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday
through Saturday; 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Porto, Eastgate Shopping Center, 1800 E.
Franklin St., Chapel Hill, (919) 338-2602
hookah can be
passed among smokers like a peace pipe.
(Smokers are given
disposable mouthpieces to keep things
Tobacco is $8 to
$12 per hookah and
provides 30 to 60
minutes of smoking
on the number of
Beer, from a range
costs $3 to $4.25 a
bottle. The Mediter-
ranean Deli next
McFarling’s, with the only gas pumps left on the downtown stretch of
door will deliver Franklin Street, has been sold. No news yet on what developers will do
food. Bliss had with the lot, which is next to Walker’s Funeral Home.
planned to make his
own sandwiches — the space, formerly
Pan e Vino, has a full kitchen — but serving food made on site would involve
abiding by a town ordinance that requires
a designated nonsmoking section.
Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to
Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and ■
Hookah Bliss, 418 W. Franklin St., Chapel
Hill (919) 967-3066
PHOTOS BY CAROLYN EDY ’ 97 (MA)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to
Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10: 30 p.m. Fridays
and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Boleros, 1404 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill,
Thank You for Smoking
Adam Bliss ’ 90 has found a new way
to use his archeology and anthropology
degree. These days, he digs up exotic
tobacco and premium beer for the enjoyment of his clientele at Hookah Bliss. As
some cities across the country are banning
smoking in bars, Bliss has opened an
establishment expressly for the enjoyment
of smoking. His 33 flavors of tobacco are
smoked through a hookah — a water pipe
connected to a flexible hose. Hot charcoal
burns the tobacco, and its smoke is pulled
through the water before it is inhaled. The
Boleros soothed the bright orange and
blue exterior into a cafe-au-lait and
chocolate hue when it took over the tidy
hacienda that used to house El Rodeo.
But the fare inside is plenty bold. The
menu features cuisine from Cuba,
Venezuela and Argentina. Eclectic dishes
include the Cuban sandwich of shredded
pork, bolo ham and gruyere cheese for
$8.25; the marinated steak of Ropa Vieja
Cubana for $11.50; and Boleros Arepas
Vegetarianas, a plate of black bean corn-meal cakes with vegetables and fruit salsa.
The restaurant offers a full bar, including its most popular drink, Cuban mojito,
a rum, sugar and seltzer concoction garnished with mint.
Students do everything online, said
UNC student Matt Filer. “So why not save
money on the things we do most?” he
asked — and answered by creating
TarDeals, a Web site that advertises special
deals offered by local restaurants and bars.
A business and public policy major,
Filer marshaled the talents of a friend
majoring in computer science at Georgia
Tech to create the Web site, then went door
to door signing up local businesses to pay a
low fee to post specials for students throughout the semester. The site scored 10,000
hits when it went live in January. To celebrate the launch, Filer organized a pub
crawl, which rewarded his inaugural advertisers with a crowd of paying customers.
For Filer, the challenge is in the creation.
Once the site took hold, he sold TarDeals
to business major Teddy Ebner for just
enough to recoup his expenses. Ebner plans
to add at least five new restaurants by fall